The graduating Level 3 class from Centennial College.

By Mike Davey

Toronto, Ontario -- March 6, 2017 -- A new group of fully qualified technicians has completed their apprenticeship. Centennial College in Toronto held a special event at the school's Ashtonbee campus to honour the latest round of graduates from its Level 3 Automotive Body Damage and Collision Repairer (ABCDR) program.

The graduation ceremony was sponsored by 3M Canada and Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA). In total, 19 students graduated from the program.

John Norris is the Executive Director of CIIA. He notes that it is important to honour the achievements of these students to develop and maintain a strong workforce.

“Large numbers of interested, motivated young people are enthusiastic about the auto body collision damage repairer trade and sign apprenticeship contracts each year across Canada, yet the industry is still struggling to recruit and retain skilled technicians,” he says. “Once you start digging into the numbers, the reason becomes clear: many of them simply never make it to class.”

This does not necessarily mean they’re not working in the collision repair industry. Some of them, however, simply never make it to school. The ones who do are much more likely to make the autobody business their career.

“We know how many graduate each year in each province, and we also have data that shows us that once they physically get to the Training Delivery Agent, chances are good they will stay in the trade. Different employers perhaps, and sometimes frequently changed, but still in the trade,” says Norris.

For more information on Centennial College’s ABCDR program, please visit centennialcollege.ca/programs-courses/schools/school-of-transportation/programs/automotive.

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